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Book: The Bible for the Curious

Chapter: 9. The New Testament Letters

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.35690


The New Testament letters illuminate how the story of Jesus Christ became
embedded in the life of Christian communities, while expectation of the
return of the Christ diminished and attention was directed to living in
the here and now in ways that the gospel demanded. The ethical norms
encouraged here are not conspicuously out of line with Jewish ones, or
even most non-Jewish ones. Solidarity is, of course, important—a requirement
of threatened minorities. The attention paid in the Synoptic Gospels
to Jesus’s own lifestyle perhaps betrays an increasing interest in Christian
virtue: care for the poor and sick, spreading the good news, fighting evil
forces in the world, resisting the temptation of Satan, suffering what must
be suffered.

Chapter Contributors

  • Philip Davies ( - philipdavies) 'University of Sheffield, (Emeritus)'